“Get Out” Movie Review

So… damn… satisfying. This socially conscious horror comedy was released by Universal Pictures on February 24th, 2017, earning back nearly 8 times its meager $4.5 million budget. A stunning directorial debut from Jordan Peele, one-half of the comedy duo Key and Peele, this movie stands as proof positive that even the funniest comedians are dark and damaged people deep down inside. Also written by Peele, the story focuses on an interracial couple- Rose and Chris, who go to the former’s parents’ house for the weekend. Only thing is they don’t yet know that Chris is a black man, so when they arrive, they act so awkwardly white around him. The nice get together is interrupted when Chris starts noticing weird behavior from everyone attending and soon decides he has to leave. I keep it vague like that because the trailers are so shrouded in secrecy. But that was probably my favorite aspect of the movie. Having watching all the ads and learning nothing about the plot, I walked out having had no idea what I was in for. It’s rare these days in cinema that you can go to a movie, especially one with no ties to any franchise, and come out with that feeling. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Get Out is that even though he’s nowhere to be found and it’s a very different genre than he’s dealt with before, Jordan Peele is still able to project his own unique voice into the R-rated script. The dialogue and character interactions are very well-written and make for some of the funniest parts of the film. Not only does it sound realistic, but it does a brilliant job at portraying passive, almost unintentional racism. There are no moments when the father comes out wearing a Confederate flag t-shirt while shooting his shotgun and yelling N-words. But rather it is perfectly illustrated in the first dinner scene, when both Rose’s father and brother, played wonderfully by Bradley Whitford and Caleb Landry Jones, respectively, ask him if he has a college basketball scholarship. These are middle-class liberals who would have voted for Barack Obama a third time if they were given the chance. But even still, we all have different stereotypes of certain groups of people and regularly use them, even if we don’t know they’re offensive. This movie addressed that very well. Though admittedly, it quickly strays from anything realistic. When it comes to the acting department, everyone did a great job with their characters. In the lead role, Daniel Kaluuya is convincing and likable as Chris. Up to this point, his only other role worth noting was a one-off in the second episode of the British anthology series, Black Mirror. Considering the universal acclaim that this movie has garnered, I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets him more mainstream attention. HBO’s Girls alum Alison Williams is excellent as his girlfriend, Rose. For much of the time, you’re left teetering on the edge of whether she’s in on her parents’ agenda or is in the same boat as Chris. And also like her male counterpart, I could see this film potentially getting her more roles in the near future. Another thing that made Get Out work so well was the excessive amount of homages and references to older horror movies. Whether it’s the way Toby Oliver shoots the look of the film, a passing piece of dialogue, or just how a scene was cut together, there’s no denying the debt it owes to previous successes of the genre. I would say it reminded me of Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods from 2012. Not only is it a great movie on its own, but it also celebrates the genre that it inhabits and even addresses the problems with various modern day incarnations. The very first scene, alone- which, to my best recollection, was almost entirely taken on one shot -lets you know that it’s going to be a very flavorful kind of ride. It continues a trend which I consider to be classic futurism, which combines old genre conventions into a modern setting with some brand new ideas to enjoy. There is, however, one minor flaw that should be clarified for audiences. Yes, it is indeed a horror movie with some elements of the “slasher” sub-genre. However, I felt that it was not as scary as it was darkly funny. Make no mistake, this movie is definitely creepy, and sometimes downright weird as hell. But I found myself and the rest of the theater just laughing out loud more than jumping from my seat in sheer terror. Quick little side-story: My friend and I went to see this film together in a theater filled with all manners of characters. I have not known an entire auditorium of fellow moviegoers to clap and cheer when a character dies. This happened at least twice. Even though this really has no relevance to my actual review, it enhanced the fun aspect of seeing the movie. In the end, Get Out succeeds on many different levels. As a horror thriller, a character-driven mystery, a dark comedy, and a relevant social commentary on race relations in America. Unique, fresh, unpredictable, original, and completely hilarious in the darkest way possible, this has to be one of, if not the best horror movies to come out in recent times, and arguably one of the best horror movies ever made.

Image result for get out movie poster

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